You never know when love will come around…. Mark and Aimee Bumgarner, the husband-and-wife team who make up Calico Moon, embody this truth both in their music and in their personal story. Musically, their roots country sound has a keenly polished edge, while also possessing a genuine authenticity that’s born of a shared southern Appalachian upbringing. Personally, it was a chance encounter at a Del McCoury concert in Asheville, North Carolina that first brought the two together. The connection was instantaneous, and, in the midst of the budding romance that followed, an unexpected musical union was formed.
Mark’s musical journey was already well underway when the two met in 2005. A seasoned musician, Mark had performed over the years with several national and regional touring bands and had recently returned to western North Carolina after spending ten years in Nashville, Tennessee. Although Aimee grew up in a musical family, this self-described “front porch singer” had never given much thought to performing music professionally. She had recently graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was teaching English at a public high school just north of Asheville.
It was there on the front porch of Aimee’s little mountain cabin that, early in their courtship, the musical roots of what would become Calico Moon took hold. It began with what can only be described as a natural and uncanny vocal blend that seemed to be years, if not a lifetime in the making. Mark and Aimee were married in May of 2007. As they settled into their new life together, Mark continued to develop as a solo artist. This also provided the next step in their shared musical evolution. Mark’s 2009 “On My Way Back Home” release would feature Aimee on the classic Johnny and June duet “If I Were a Carpenter”. The undeniable magic of that one track convinced them that what they had together was for real and much bigger than the confines of their front porch. From there they started regularly appearing together as Calico Moon and began recording what would become their debut album. In 2011 they released “When Love Comes Around”. The album was literally an “in house project” having been recorded in the living room of their home. It was a totally independent project with no label, no promotional team, or no publicist. But what started with only one email that included a simple introduction, an mp3 sampler and an invitation to receive a copy upon requested, this album, from out of nowhere, cracked the national RMR (Roots Music Report) Roots Country Top 50 Albums chart in December of 2011 debuting at #40. It was a validating testament to the quality of this project from virtual unknowns on the national stage.
Calico Moon continues to perform regionally and is currently working on new material for a follow up album. 2013 will happily bring closure to regular Calico Moon performances for the foreseeable future, when their family, which includes Kate, age 5 and Andrew, age 2, welcomes the arrival of a new Moonbeam to their ensemble in August. Mark will continue his work as a solo artist, as well as performing with Aimee for limited engagements.
Calico Moon will continue to be part of Mark and Aimee’s life for years to come, whether on stage, in recordings or on their front porch where it all started.